Let’s cut to the chase: positivity is necessary to survive tough times with grace and sobriety. Little wonder that the phrase #GoodVibesOnly has earned its own hashtag on social media. But now is the time to be realistic instead of blindly optimistic. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, and turning a blind eye to reality is one of the biggest mistakes we can make as a species. Here’s what we can do instead of putting on rose-colored glasses.
1. Mourn your sudden life changes
Unless you are one of those privileged <insert your favorite cuss word here> who have fled to the safety of lavish, fully stocked bunkers, this outbreak has had a seriously negative impact on your life. From taking a pay cut to losing your job to contracting the virus yourself to worrying about a loved one in quarantine, the spiky little bug has changed your life for the worse, hasn’t it? Repressing your feelings and pretending that everything is a-okay is eventually going to bring out your inner Nina Sayers.
To avoid a steep descent into madness, grieve like there’s no tomorrow. Tomorrow may literally never come with the way things are going. (Kidding!) We will get through this – for fuck’s sake, we have survived wars, natural disasters, and the universal monstrosity known as puberty. But seriously, express your grief, rage, and frustration in whatever ways work for you. Even if it’s something terrifying like screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of the night, go for it.
2. Share your struggles on social media
Once you are done grieving in private, make your issues public on social media. Think about it: this is one of those rare times when you can complain all you like and not be called out for being negative. On the contrary, you will be revered for being brave and honest. Seeing you speak up about the hurdles you are facing will let others know that they are not alone in their suffering. Your statement may even lead to a ripple effect, so more people will come forward and talk about their problems, in turn inspiring others to do the same. You might even learn all about your arch-nemesis’ failures and insecurities, which you can then turn to whenever you need to gloat on the inside.
Not a sociopath who enjoys seeing others suffer? Well, it won’t just be a bunch of people whining into the abyss. When people are honest with each other about tough stuff, they tend to come up with solutions and workarounds, too. Isn’t that basically how group therapy works? You can find several coronavirus support groups on Facebook, Reddit, and if it’s your scene, even on the dark web.
3. Provide support to friends and family
Now that you are done focusing on yourself, it’s time to care for others before they stop liking and commenting on your posts. For real though, reach out to the people in your life virtually and help them out even if they don’t ask for it. Like if a friend is tired of her little monster(s) wrecking her house and peace of mind, maybe you could teach them online for some time each day. If you suck at teaching or can’t stand kids, you could simply share some free homeschooling resources with your buddy. Or if you know someone who is stuck in lockdown with their abusive partner, check in on them regularly to see if they are doing all right. Even better, link your friend to a domestic violence helpline if they need support or if they’re looking for a way out. It’s sad but true that even in the middle of a pandemic, cases of domestic violence against women and children are on the rise.
They say charity begins at home, so if you are living with someone, make sure you are doing your share of household chores first. Yes, this is a dig at all those
straight men people who can’t stop complaining about getting bored because they have so much free time on their hands. Your free time is your partner’s overtime — how can you not see that?
Also, WhatsApp groups are abuzz with baseless conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19. Spread real news to do your bit to contain the pandemic. Report fake news and general misinformation. Spare no one, particularly that aunt or uncle who keeps spamming your family group with shit no one wants to see. Connect with people you don’t care for, too, because loneliness reduces immunity, and a lot of us are feeling lonely lately. It might be an overstatement, but if you want to outlive the pandemic, it’s best to be nice to as many people as possible. Even people you hate.
4. Help out total strangers
If you are truly altruistic, and not a pseudo saint like Mother Teresa, you can be a virtual savior to people you don’t even know. Support your local restaurants if they are taking adequate precautions like no-contact delivery. If you can’t cook to save your life, your taste buds will thank you, too. When out on your next grocery run, maybe provide a meal to the homeless. If you are a bit of a germaphobe, you can support a charity of your choice or a local mutual aid fund from the safety of your home. All you need is some spare change and a credit or debit card. Even if you don’t give a damn about other people, you probably want a cure for the coronavirus, don’t you? You can help by contributing to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Psst, your purely selfless move can still make you look like a hero if you market your donation just right.
5. Call out the authorities when they are being inhuman
No matter where you live in the world, someone in a position of power is abysmally failing to do their job. Now is the perfect opportunity for you to unleash your fury and get away with it. Just pick a cause or ten and start calling out whoever is in charge. Twitter and Facebook are the perfect platforms to scream and shout. Your outrage will not only let you blow off some pent-up steam, but it may also improve or save someone’s life
Wondering where to begin? Here are some events that you can rant about right now: mountains of food are getting thrown away, millions will starve, and Donald Trump thinks some states have “insatiable appetites” for basic medical equipment. Your efforts won’t go to waste. Public shaming forces the most soulless of us to take corrective measures just to eliminate hate.
6. Shut down narcissists and celebrities who can’t look beyond themselves
Tell the chronic complainers to shut up about their first world problems. Feeling trapped in your home, although awful, can never trump the fact that people are dying and don’t have enough to eat. Social distancing is an effing privilege when you think of the people who live in crowded slums or out on the streets. You will probably never get the opportunity to publicly shame the rich and/or famous narcissists without getting trolled, so seize the moment and put them on blast.
Okay, wait a minute. You may still get spammed by their blind fans and followers, but the chances are as low as they can be. As far as I know, Kim Kardashian is often asking for hate, so give the woman what she wants. In fact, she is not the only one: there are many other self-absorbed people who need to be shown their place. There are whole articles about them. Personally, I think this one is the best so far.
All in all, for the sake of humanity, please exit the world of unicorns farting rainbows and return to reality until this God-awful pandemic is behind us. And then, feel free to tattoo ‘good vibes only’ on your forehead if you like. Us realists won’t laugh at you, we swear.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re in need of support, feel very free to put your PayPal/CashApp/Venmo/GoFundMe links in the comments! If you’re able to give support, check out the comments for people who could really use your help!